Wild Animus Hits Princeton!

Free, and apparently epicly terrible

Free, and apparently epicly terrible

Anyone noticed the shrink-wrapped box sets littering dorm hallways, mysteriously titled “Wild Animus”? We did, and our fancy was struck, so we decided to do a little digging. What are these bizarre boxes? How did they get here? And what do they want with us?

We took to the information superhighway in search of answers. Our first stop was an old blog post by a fellow truth-searcher, one Robert Nagle of the blog idiotprogrammer. It turns out Wild Animus’s author, Rich Shapero, made his fortune doing something with technology and decided to use his fortune to publish and give out free copies of his book.  Over time, he’s added CDs and other media to create a sort of immersive literary experience (an experience someone recently decided Princeton students needed to have).

But here’s the thing: apparently, the book sucks. Like, really sucks. Here’s a collection of reviews from around the web:

“Deficating [sic] onto a page does not count as writing a novel.” – anonymous, idiotprogrammer

“This is easily one of the worst books I have ever read.” – Patrick Burnett, amazon.com

Worst book ever.” – cade, goodreads.com

And, to be fair, a slightly more positive review:

I haven’t read the book yet, but the spoken word CD series is worth a listen to anyone interested in psychedelics or survival journeying or vision questing.” – Janto, idiotprogrammer

So there you have it. Apparently this thing has gone global, with people receiving and ignoring the book in Europe, North America, and possibly Asia. But since Princeton students have so much time for pleasure reading (and a vibrant psychedelic community), I’m sure “Wild Animus” is going to catch on here in Central Jersey. Or, you know, not.

(image source: http://www.richshapero.com/images/store_boxset.png)

    By Spencer Gaffney on February 8th 2010, 3:32pm
    This article was posted in Goings On and tagged , , , , . Bookmark this article. Post a comment.

    21 Comments

    1. Georgie
      Posted August 15, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      I got a free copy today. Im from New Zealand.

    2. Bob
      Posted August 29, 2010 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      Getting free copies at ANU Canberra Australia, the folks that set up in Union Square had hundreds to hand out

    3. Grayson Gibbs
      Posted September 29, 2010 at 3:58 am | Permalink

      Hit Bard College in September ’10.

    4. Tom
      Posted October 11, 2010 at 12:26 am | Permalink

      Got a free one at UNSW, Sydney Australia today.

    5. Rob
      Posted October 14, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Hit Oregon State University in October ’10.

    6. s. prince
      Posted October 18, 2010 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

      yo y’all we just got this from the University of Wollongong

    7. Anthony
      Posted October 29, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      University College London this week!

    8. m
      Posted October 29, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      I just got a copy on a campus here in Paris, France.

    9. k
      Posted November 12, 2010 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Got one last week at Copenhagen Business School

    10. Yusra
      Posted November 19, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Southampton Uni, this week!
      It’s sitting on the shelf, I love freebies! XD

    11. Dali
      Posted December 2, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      I found a box set today at Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada. It was just lying there on the floor, near a recycling bin. Brought it home but I don’t think I’ll be reading it!

    12. Doug Wade
      Posted January 26, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      Book hit the University of British Columbia today. They were handing out “thousands” on the main mall.

    13. GWU
      Posted February 2, 2011 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      They are being handed out on GWU in DC this week. The box set and the hardback are littering the campus.

      Somebody should ask this guy to pay to clean campuses up after the hits them with his vanity project.

    14. A
      Posted February 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Arrived at SFU earlier this week, handing hundreds out to whoever would take them…

    15. Valérie
      Posted February 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Hit Université de Caen, France this week !

    16. S
      Posted February 17, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      Hit Emily Carr in BC this week as well. My friend said it was really weird, but I’ll actually read it over myself.

    17. pq5
      Posted March 29, 2011 at 2:53 am | Permalink

      Got a copy (box set) at Auckland University, New Zealand today.

    18. Brian
      Posted September 10, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Bowdoin College too. People standing around asking student passersby if they wanted a “free adventure novel”.

    19. Sara
      Posted October 7, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Got a free copy @ McGill University, decided to look for reviews before reading it but so far doesn’t seem great

    20. Anonymous
      Posted April 10, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Got one walking out of a Radiohead concert last night in Seattle.

    21. Stuart
      Posted March 24, 2014 (4 weeks ago) at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      I just got a copy of his new book “The hope we seek” at Berklee in Boston. I don’t really read for fun, but I like the idea of someone trying to spread literacy and the arts by offering it for free, so I thought about reading it. I literally couldn’t get past the first paragraph. Like I said, I’m not much of a pleasure-reader anyway, but still, I usually manage to keep my focus for at least 25-35 pages. This lost me mid-first paragraph. Based on the reviews I’ve read of his other books, I’m thinking this won’t be the book to bring me back to the pleasure-reading world.

    One Trackback

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      [...] and its distribution across the United States, including, but not limited to, Universities like Princeton and Yale, where it managed to set off a bomb [...]

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